Plastic Orgasm: Endorsed by Ultravox, The Damned, Penetration and The New York Dolls
No – not these people – this was Ultravox, pre-Midge Ure, when John Foxx and Robin Simon gave me their autographs in Eric’s Club dressing room, Liverpool in 1978.
And I don’t mean the ‘best’ schoolboy Punk band of course – just the most ‘endorsed’, albeit by some seriously big-hitting Punk and New Wave bands back in the day, such as Penetration, Ultravox, The Damned, The Buzzcocks, David Johansen and former member of the New York Dolls, amongst others.
When I was back in Liverpool recently, I went through my hoard of Punk and New Wave memorabilia, photographing much of it, including the items accompanying this article ,which date back to when I was a sixteen year-old schoolboy Punk. I’d forgotten I had kept half of it and it felt like discovering buried treasure.
As mentioned in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, when I was sixteen, my friend Ged and I set up a Punk band called Plastic Orgasm, and we’d go to see Punk or New Wave bands play in Liverpool. The following day they’d usually sign record covers and hang out in a Virgin Records outlet in St John’s Precinct in Liverpool City Centre, or (immediately after a gig) we’d gatecrash the dressing room of Eric’s Club, where they’d performed.
We’d then go get all our records signed by the bands.
But when we set up Plastic Orgasm, I decided to up my game a bit and started taking sticky-backed yellow squares to have the bands also sign for us.
I got the Damned to sign in Virgin Records, Liverpool, after their gig in December 1977 at the University, and I got Penetration’s at a June 1978 gig at Eric’s.
I got Ultravox to sign theirs in Eric’s dressing room in September 1978, and David Johannsen, fellow former-New York Doll, Syl Sylvain and the rest of the David Johansen band also signed their yellow squares in Eric’s dressing room after a gig in November 1978.
My plan was to then stick these big yellow squares on my bass and amplifier and proudly display them whenever Plastic Orgasm played a gig. Fortunately I realised even back then, (a) what a shit idea that was and (b) how important these things were, and I never got to use them on my equipment, with the exception of The Damned autographed one, which I put on my bass.
It fell off a short while later and is now lost to history. But I’m happy to have kept the remaining ones which I’ve featured here, with some great photos of the bands which I also took back then, mostly playing live at Eric’s.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php